House of Fraser has just had another shot at the online delivery race with its “next evening delivery” solution, which will appeal to the working population.

House of Fraser has just had another shot at the online delivery race with its “next evening delivery” solution. They already, alongside Next and Asos, offered evening slots, but will shift the cut-off time from 7pm to Midnight, bringing their offering in line with that Asos offers to selected postcodes.

The House of Fraser solution will appeal to the working population and to single dwellers, although not all will view the 6pm start-time of the delivery slot as convenient. A later time-slot, say 7pm, may prove more appealing.

From a logistics point of view, getting an order ready and shipped within that timeframe is an issue that has already been sorted – House of Fraser offer same-day delivery for orders placed before noon within the M25 and Birmingham, which is a shorter timeframe.

Warehouses nowadays run in round-the-clock shifts and the extra hours should allow the offer to be available nationwide as advertised. The issue is one of costs. At £6, House of Fraser’s proposed offer is more competitive than Asos’ equivalent at £7.99, but less than Next’s at £3.99.

However, one can drown in detail trying to compare retailers’ delivery options. What is better? Order before 10pm to pick up from noon the next day, or order before 7pm to receive before 10.30am the next day? None are comparable, because each serves a different purpose, be it convenience (for example, Collect+, Amazon Lockers); speed (expensive next day deliveries, Shutl), service (DPD’s text tracking), or price (click-and-collect or standard delivery). While there is always going to be a demand for faster and cheaper delivery options, convenience and choice are now emerging as far greater considerations.

This is where House of Fraser’s innovation is ahead of the game. Not because of the solution itself, but in the fact that it is part of the most comprehensive list of delivery options available from its competitive peer group.

What other retailers should take inspiration from is the understanding that there is no perfect delivery solution (all are perfect for a certain mission but worthless for another), and that the focus should be on offering a balanced delivery menu combining speed, price and convenience options.

Sophie Albizua is co-founder of multichannel retail specialist eNova Partnership